As much as we want to have straight hair, is it really worth the risk of uterine cancer? It’s now a known fact that many hair straighteners on the market today contain chemicals that are harmful not just to our hair but also to our bodies.
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health confirmed that women who use chemical hair straightening products are at higher risk for uterine cancer compared to women do not report using these products.
The study, concluded in 2022, involved 33,497 U.S. women ages 35-74 participating in the Sister Study, a study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, that seeks to identify risk factors for breast cancer and other health conditions.
These women were tracked for more than eleven years, and in that time 378 of them were diagnosed with uterine cancer.
Researchers were able to find the risk of uterine cancer more than two and a half times higher for women who used chemical straightening hair products.
“We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70, but for frequent users, that risk goes up to 4.05%,” the study leader, Alexandra White of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Safety (NIEHS), said in a statement.
According to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Black women made up almost 60% of the participants who admitted to using straighteners in the previous year. Despite the fact that the study did not identify a variation in uterine cancer incidence according to race, the negative health impacts may be more severe for Black women due to a higher popularity of usage.
Several chemicals such as parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde that have been found in hair straightening products could be contributing to the increased uterine cancer risk observed.
“However, it is important to put this information into context. Uterine cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer,” Alexander added.
It is important to note that the chemicals found in hair straighteners are not the only factor that can cause uterine cancer. However, with this study, it’s clear that there’s a correlation between frequent use of chemical hair straighteners and increased risk of uterine cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no reliable way to predict if you’ll develop uterine cancer. Without being at high risk, some women still develop it. Nevertheless, some factors could raise your risk of developing uterine cancer.
Well, what can we do to prevent this risk? For one, limit the use of chemical hair straighteners or better yet, completely cut them out of your hair routine.
Consider a switch to natural hair and maintain it in that state with protective styles and using natural and organic hair products. At Livara, we make the best natural and organic products from ingredients like shea butter and even guava to best help you take care of your hair.
Alternatively, you can switch to other hair straightening methods such as using a straightening brush. While straightening your hair with heat is doesn’t pause a risk of cancer, it can be very damaging to your strands if you do it often.
Additionally, we need to spread awareness and educate others about the dangers of using chemical hair straighteners. Be sure to share this post with someone that you know may need it.
At the end of the day, our health should always be our top priority. We should all be conscious about the products we use on our bodies and strive to choose natural, safer alternatives whenever possible. Let’s say goodbye to harmful hair straightening chemicals and say hello to healthy and beautiful hair. Remember, you are a GEM.